Side by Side
Side by Side, the first book created by Gilbert & George just four years into their lifelong artistic partnership, was published in 1971 by Koenig Brothers in Cologne in a limited edition of only 600 copies. Long out of print and now a valuable collectors item, it is at last being republished, again in a signed limited edition, in order to bring this essential work back into the public domain. Described in the brief preface as a contemporary sculpture novel, it functions as a kind of manifesto or declaration of their view of life and art – ‘based on plans, intentions and experience’ that permeates both the poetic texts and the images. A unique glimpse into the mercurial world that Gilbert & George were to continue to construct around themselves throughout their prolific and influential careers, this book is key to their subsequent pictures, performances and iconography, as well as a testament to their working vision: ‘Stand alone and standing for Art’.